Ban condemns coordinated bombings in Syrian capital, urges move towards dialogue
According to media reports, two simultaneous suicide bombings killed dozens of people at a Syrian air force intelligence complex in Harasta, northeast of Damascus. One of the suicide bombers was reportedly driving an ambulance packed with explosives.
“The Secretary-General is extremely concerned that the spiral of violence in Syria is creating a fertile ground for terrorism and criminal actions of all kinds,” his spokesperson said in a statement, adding that Mr. Ban is also concerned about the fate of detainees reportedly held at the facility where the bombings occurred.
“The Secretary-General reiterates his firm conviction that resorting to violence and military means will only lead to more suffering and destruction, and that the only way out is through a political solution,” the statement said.
More than 20,000 people, mostly civilians, have died in Syria since the uprising against the regime of President Bashar al-Assad began last year. A further 2.5 million Syrians urgently need humanitarian aid, according to UN estimates.
Mr. Ban urged all sides to move toward a political transition and work closely with the Joint Special Representative of the UN and the League of Arab States, Lakhdar Brahimi, who just arrived in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, to hold talks with regional leaders on the prolonged Syrian crisis.
Yesterday, Mr. Ban also called on the Syrian Government to take the initiative in declaring an immediate unilateral ceasefire, and on the opposition to then accede to it, in a renewed bid to end what he called a “regional catastrophe with global ramifications.”